Thursday, March 26, 2015

Heroes and heroines in romance ... what do they look like?

I get asked a lot whether I imagine what the heroes and heroines look like in all the romance novels I read and if I ever cast anyone in their role while I read them so that I have an image of their faces, etc.

I guess the short answer is NO. I don't, certainly not consciously or intentionally each time I read a book and the hero or heroine is described to me.

There is, of course, a general idea of their body shape / type based on the author's description and then perhaps a vague imagining of their faces, but I don't go looking through images of celebrities to find one that fits my image of the hero or heroine I'm reading about.

With all that said, I have to admit that I do have a few favorites when I comes to the hero.

I'm a huge fan of David Gandy. I love the way he looks. I love his dark looks, the dark hair, the chiseled features and the close cropped beard or goatee that he has - depending on what he's sporting in a particular picture. He looks dark and broody to me in a lot of pictures. It also doesn't hurt that he has a great body and is sexy as all heck.

When I read Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison, David Gandy was the one I cast in the role of Dragos. This is one of the few times where I actually cast someone in the hero's role while I was reading. Then again, I have a rather mild obsession with Dragos as a character, you know with him being a dragon and all, that I've talked about in this post.The only thing with this imagining was the fact that Dragos is 6' 8" tall and I had a hard time visualizing that until one day, I was riding the lift up to my floor at work and this guy came into the lift after me. I looked at him and looked up, and up, and up, and up. He was TALL! I observed out loud that he was very tall (to my 5' 2") and asked him how tall he was, to which he responded 6' 8". He had the height but he was no Dragos. At least, now I knew how tall Dragos was!

David Gandy also plays the starring role in a lot of vampires for me since vampires do tend on the dark and broody side.

Even with David Gandy playing a starring role in a lot of the heroes that I read, I have to admit that it all depends on the description of the author because he won't fit in a lot of other heroes in the romance novels I read. When that happens, it just tends to be a vague shape that forms in my head and I don't tend to make an effort to go looking up pictures to find one that fit. The book and hero would have to make quite an impact for me to do that.

The exception is Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey series, not because I was obsessed with him but because my whole book group read the books and a couple of the girls were completely obsessed with him. There was, inevitably, discussion of what we thought he would look like and all the girls offered up pictures of him in our discussion.

This was my pick for Christian Grey:

And speaking of Christian Grey, don't you think that my image of him is not far off from who they pick for the movie? Which is probably no wonder why I never objected to the movie casting as so many of my friends did and most strenuously at that.

So let's move on to the women shall we? Or should I say heroines of the romance novels. For me, it's all about the men, so I often don't envision the heroine beyond the descriptions of the author in the book.

I'm one of those readers who is all about the heroes. I need to fall in love with the hero when I'm and even when he's not the best hero there is, I'm always, always on his side. To me, it's about the male character and how he is portrayed.

With the women, as long as I don't dislike them and can tolerate them, I'm fairly happy. If I find that I really like them or I can relate to them, it's a super bonus. Unlike a lot of my friends, I never put myself in the heroines shoes. I never need to "be" the heroine.

The only heroine that I have ever cast (and it wasn't even me doing the casting!) was Pia in Dragon Bound. With this, I was reading a thread about the book and the subject of casting came up. Many people suggested many celebrities but the one that stuck with me the most was someone suggesting that Cameron Diaz would make a great Pia and thinking about her character, I had to agree with that, especially a younger Cameron Diaz in one of her goofier roles, such as There's Something About Mary or even her look in the Charlie's Angels movies.

On a closing note, and probably very cliched and used to death, I leave you with the perfect werewolf - Joe Manganiello. It doesn't hurt that he was cast as one in the TV series True Blood either. :-)

Who have you cast in the starring role in the books that you've read? Do you cast the heroes and imagine yourself as the heroine? Or do you cast both?

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